WHY I TOOK MY SON TO LAGOS, AND WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED – FATHER OF CHINEMELUM MARTINS SPEAKS.
I was in my house one of the night when my son’s boss called me to lay complain to me that my son is stealing from him. I told him, you know that boy is like a son to you people please handle this case with care or if it warrant me to come to Lagos, I will. Then in the morning of the following day I went to my son’s boss father, who happens to be the one that Chinemelum spent almost half of his life with both from primary and secondary, he also refers to my son as also his son(nwa m). I asked the father are you aware that your two sons are having problem? He said he wasn’t aware so I briefed him and told him that incase his son should present the case to him, he should tell his son to bring back my son let’s settle whatever difference they may be having. I never heard from them again but I kept visiting his father’s who I also took as a friend, we do discuss. The day they arrested my wife I wasn’t aware, from work I stopped over at his house to ask him what’s the update on the issue of his two sons, that was when he told me that his son went to my house, I replied him, he wouldn’t meet anyone, so he told me he met my wife. I now said okay, since he met my wife let me go and ask my wife what they discussed.
Then I went home, after eating I asked my wife, I heard that Martins boss was here, what did he tell you, she now told me, he came and took her to station to write statement, that their son is wanted person, that he ran away from his house with over 30Million naira. When I contacted him, he told me that no matter where my son is that he will get him because he have reported to police across various states in Nigeria and that the boy is declared wanted and also he will publish his details on National dailies. At this point, I haven’t seen my son, I became worried over the safety of my son but I don’t have anything to say because my son have already been accused.
So after few days, my son came back, I saw the scars on his body, I took him first to the studio, snapped him for evidence, his eye was damaged. He now told me how he escaped his boss brutality over an allegation. I told him to tell me the truth, if he knows anything about the money Atleast we can beg and resolve the issue, he said he knows nothing. I took him to his boss father to also narrate the story to him, I even told him to sleep there and tell the man what happened who took him as a son Atleast he can beg his son to forgive you. Both had their discussion and he later came back home that day he didn’t sleep there. So after their discussion when my son came back and we wanted the boss to come back home let’s iron things at home, he said no, that I and my son should come to Lagos that his brother Chijioke will bring us. So I prepared took my son because “clear conscience fears no accusation”, and I told his father what he said, his father said we should go that he have talked to his son, that’s it’s just an issue of apology and the truth, so on the assurance of the father, I took my son because I want to iron out this case amicably. Did I commit any crime there?
When we arrived Lagos on Friday 19/3/2021 at exactly 2:00pm, we started discussing the issue, because that’s what I came for, the boss showed me something like oil that my son is using it to charm him, I told him this is not why we are here, that the first accusation was missing fund, this is my son hear him out. My son told him same thing he told me and his father, after almost two hours of discussion, the boss said he doesn’t want to hear anything that the boy should tell him those people he is giving his goods, that’s all he want to hear. My son keep telling him, that there’s no one anywhere. So he placed call and a lady and a man came who happened to be police, they took my son, I went with them, immediately my son arrived the police station which is close to ASPAMDA, they asked him to pullout his clothes which he did. So they ask him to make statements, he made same statements he have been making from beginning that no one wants to believe. He was taken into the cell that Friday night. After some hours I went back with his boss to his house, they gave me a room but I said no and I slept outside till day breaks, on Saturday morning, when everyone came out including his mother in law, they were blaming me for sleeping outside, I told them that anyone that snake is inside his house doesn’t sleep. I can’t be sleeping when my son with all the torture and scars on him is in the police cell. So when it was time to go to the police station, the boss(Fidelis) said I should be going to the police that he wants to go and take stock in his store, so he drove me to the police station and left.
I was in the police station, I requested to see my son and give him food, they brought him, so I ate, he ate even the IPO a woman from Edo also ate, so when it was getting to 2pm that Saturday, the police on duty started saying they want to go because that day they aren’t on full duty, so I told him to let me see the DPO before he can go, so they kept trying to get the DPO who they later got and by 4pm when he came, he said there’s nothing he can do that we should go because all the man wants is his money. So I left around 5pm. I got to his home then he was back, he asked me to call whoever relation I have to come, I called my in law who said he will be coming on Sunday morning because his distance was far. So that night been Saturday 20/3/2021, a neighbor approached me who happened to be either market friend or residential neighbor, he asked me what happened, I told him. He told me to ask my son to Atleast mention names so that the boss can go for those people, I told him I have done that but see what my son kept saying. So the man went to my son’s boss and was pleading, all I heard which he said in a loud voice was “Instead my son won’t pay him that money, he will pay it with his blood”, I didn’t say anything but I grabbed those words, later his father called him and was also begging him to know that my son is also his son, he told his father he can’t have mercy instead “He will do something that will make him not come to Nnewi in the next two years”.
When it was Sunday morning after church, I found my way to the police station, I asked for my son they said he is fine, I went out to eat with a police personnel who also ate, then I told the police that I need to see my son at least let me feed him. The police told me that the case is somehow, that the DPO will like to see us later, so later my inlaw came and his boss came to the police station, my in law was begging him to withdraw the case so they handle it amicably, he said “His heart is harden and strong like stone, that nothing will Make him change his mind except his money.
So later they brought us to the DPO’s office who happens to be a lady, another man was there who they said he was Commissioner of police. So the acclaimed commissioner asked, who is the complainant? Who is the father of the son? and who is the other lady, who happens to be the boss lawyer. So he said he wants to tell us something difficult, but he still have to say it. That the boy was dead, that he committed suicide. I asked them to take me to where he committed suicide, one police brought out his phone from a distance saying he snapped it, I didn’t see anything, he placed back the phone into his pocket, they never showed me the place they said my son committed the suicide, rather they asked us to come back on Monday 22/3/2021 so they can take us to the hospital where his body is for autopsy and other things. Then and there, I asked the boss, did you remember your statement? That if my son didn’t pay you in cash, he will pay with his blood, and other two other threatening words he used. I made this statement in front of the lawyer, DPO, the commissioner, my son’s boss, but he didn’t deny it, he wasn’t even shocked about the story of my son’s death. He was just there, then my inlaw asked me to let’s go, we left and I went to my in laws place, that’s same night I left Lagos. In the morning, calls started coming from a particular number, later when I contacted the number, he said he is a policeman that they are waiting for me so we can go to the hospital and see my late son. I told the police man, I don’t know what he is talking about, that Fidelis should give me back the son I brought to him from the village, that’s all I want nothing more, so I hung the phone.
When asked some couple of questions generating from Fidelis accusation he answered them. Including not receiving any dime from his son, he also said he wanted to involve the lawyer when his son came back with those scars and injuries but two things stopped him
1) Affording a lawyer is expensive, which he can’t afford
2) That if he had used lawyer, they will say truly my son gave me money that’s why I was able to afford a lawyer.
So that’s how I forgot about the legal aspect. When asked if he has seen his son’s body, he said not up until now and he doesn’t care, let Fidelis carry the dead body that’s the meat he killed, he should bring back his son alive the same way he brought him to him in Lagos alive, because he was seeking for peace, he didn’t commit any crime to have handed his son over.